Another Take on Small Fires
The Stone Foxes
Small Fires? This record must be hot.
A lot has changed for the Stone Foxes since their last album which many considered at the time to be their breakout effort, Bears and Bulls. Three years later, now with a keyboardist, the Stone Foxes went into the studio with producer Doug Boehm (The Vines, Dr. Dog) and put together their tightest and most unrestricted record yet.
The album stays true to the bands blues-rock sound with Spence Koehler leading most songs with raw and coarse guitar riffs yet the composure is different and has evolved in such a manner that tracks such as “Talk To Louise” softly gets stuck in your head after one listen. The album flows from one song to another with seamless precision which becomes infectiously obvious. The drumming, singing, harp playing and all around dimension that is Shannon Koehler commands gravity. He drives the rhythm throughout, shinning in true drum-rock form, noticeably on heavy and hard hitting tracks like “Cotto” and title track “Small Fires”. All the while Rhodes/keyboardist Elliott Peltzman is the unmistakable element, hidden ingredient that was previously missing from earlier albums. Peltzman, whether at a show or on this record adds a noticeable layer that is a must have. Meanwhile the bass lines and harmonies created by Aaron Mort envelope the listener in a earthquake of sonic precision. His artistry is clear, on an album full of distortion, he is a rock of clarity; one that every record needs.
Where their last album set the bar high during the so-called resurgence in alt-blues rock, Small Fires shows how the right amount of production, Boehm is masterful, years of touring and a penchant for crossing those invisible musical boundaries is exactly what’s necessary to deliver on perfection. If you want to be rocked awake in a world where most stand happily asleep in their musical boots, I say with certainty that Small Fires will awaken within you and burn itself into your soul. And as a band and you want to be “King Bee”, this album is a San Francisco treat indeed.